By Savanah Mandeville

 

Downtown Diversity Pridefest

Saturday, July 14

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Joplin Avenue between 5th and 6th Street

Downtown Diversity After Party

6 pm – midnight

Blackthorn and Whiskey Dicks

Scroll to bottom to see full schedule of events

 

Celebrate our LGBTQ+ communities this Saturday at Downtown Diversity Pridefest!

“We have a little bit of something for everyone, and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Stevie Lou Rose, one of the event coordinators. “Pridefest is a great way to show that we’re here, we’re visible, we matter, and come join the fun!”

This year’s event is being hosted by JOMO Pride Inc. for the first time. This brand new group has taken measures to ensure that Pridefest is all-inclusive and set out to revamp the event and draw in large crowds.

Historically, Pridefest has been held at Landreth Park, but Rose said JOMO Pride’s goal was to bring it downtown.

“We decided to bring it more to the middle of the city, and one of my favorite things about doing it on Joplin Avenue is the support we’ve received from the local businesses that are getting involved,” she said.

The day will be jam packed with events, beginning at 11 a.m. with opening ceremonies, followed by a Pride March at 11:15.

Over 30 vendors will be present in “Expo Alley”  including the MSSU Gay-Straight Alliance, Planned Parenthood, SWMO Democrats, Green Alliance of SWMO, and local branches of Black Lives Matter and NAACP. There will also be food trucks, street performers, and games.

Pridefest will have a costume contest and a raffle with prizes such as gift cards to Bookhouse Cinema, Instant Karma, and Target.

“We have so many prizes, we’re afraid we won’t be able to give them all out,” Rose said with a laugh. “So be sure to come out and enter the raffle.”

Downtown businesses Whiskey Dicks, Blackthorn, Joplin Avenue Coffee Co., Carmine’s Wood Fired Pizza, and El Guapo Cigar Lounge are offering indoor space to cool off plus discounts on food and drinks. Venues at Blackthorn, Whiskey Dicks, and JACC will host entertainment including drag shows, performances by the Rocky Horror Cast’s RKO Floor Show, a magic and comedy show, and more.

Pridefest is a longtime tradition in Joplin, and Rose said it was important to JOMO Pride Inc. to keep the event thriving in the community.

“Living in the Midwest, there’s not a lot of places for people of the LGBTQ+ community to go –  especially with our one bar shutting down – so Pridefest is for visibility and a sense of community,” she said. “When you go to a pride festival, you realize you’re one with the community. Everyone is really supportive of each other, and I think that shows that no matter what people say about LGBTQ+ people, there’s always a place for them.”

 

Downtown Diversity Pridefest Schedule of Events:

 

OPENING CEREMONY – 11am

Opening Announcements

Pride Speech given by Stevie Rose

National Anthem in Expo Alley sung by Megan Richins

 

DIVERSITY PRIDE MARCH – 11:15am

(STAYING ON THE SIDEWALK AND FOLLOWING ALL PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS: From Expo Alley on Joplin Ave. North to 5TH St., East to Main St., South to 7TH St., West to Joplin Ave. and back into Expo Alley.)

 

DOWNTOWN DIVERSITY DRAG SHOW 1

(Hosted by Misty Meanor & Victoria Kennedy)

12:30pm – @Blackthorn (Back Stage) ALL AGES

 

RKO FLOOR SHOW – ROCKY HORROR CAST

2:15 pm – @Joplin Avenue Coffee Company ALL AGES

 

JOSEPH JOHNSON MAGIC & COMEDY SHOW

3:15pm – @Joplin Avenue Coffee Company

ALL AGES

 

DRAG QUEEN STORYTIME & INTERACTIVE FOLK

(Hosted by Opal Ease, Jake lee Bravado Hunter & Anna “Woody” Dresner)

3:15pm – @Blackthorn (Front Stage)

ALL AGES

 

SHOW YOUR PRIDE COSTUME CONTEST

4:15pm – @Expo Alley

(Come Show Your Pride and you may take home the crown & sash!)

 

RAFFLE DRAWING 

4:30pm – @Expo Alley

 

DOWNTOWN DIVERSITY DRAG SHOW 2

(Hosted by Misty Meanor & Victoria Kennedy)

5pm – @Blackthorn (Back Stage)

ALL AGES

 

AFTER DIVERSITY PARTY & EVENTS:

Whisky Dicks

RKO FLOOR SHOW – ROCKY HORROR CAST – 6:30pm – (21+ only)

QUEEN KARAOKE – 7pm – (21+ only)

DRAG ON THE PATIO – 9pm – (21+ only)

 

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub

BANDS: Farewell Tomorrow & Trophy Room – 8pm – (21+ only)

FAKE IT Drag & Variety Show- 10:30pm – (21+ only)

 

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